Personalised Home Building

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

As a member of both Australia’s largest residential building organisation and the nation’s major building and construction industry association, Brolga Developments & Construction Pty Ltd has established a reputation as one of the finest builders in Broome and the Kimberley region over the past decade.

Proud to be a member of both the Master Builders Association (Western Australia), and the Housing Industry Association, Brolga Developments & Construction has been involved in over 100 successful building projects since the company was established in 2001. A great believer in personalised service and ongoing interaction with clients, Managing Director Dene Purdon and his team like to say they are “Building Lifestyles, not Just Houses.” The slogan in large part has to do with Broome – Brolga Developments & Construction’s home base, and where it does the majority of its designing and building – and the area’s climate.

“Broome is quite a warm climate,” says Mr Purdon. “It’s not tropical, and generally it has a wet season and a dry season, but we’re strong believers that the house should be designed as one that you actually like to be in. It’s not just about having a place to go to sleep, but having a place you enjoy being in, and that’s how it all came about. A lot of houses are often not designed for the climates they’re in, and people just tend to hide away in them and put the air conditioners on. We prefer to have a place that’s actually enjoyable to live in.”

Involved in many types of structures over the years, from ablution blocks in conservation parks to hospital facilities and luxury homes, Brolga Developments & Construction remains one of Broome’s few building companies with its own in-house Design and Drafting team. With the ability to offer clients a number of pre-designed homes – or create a custom-designed and built home to suit each client’s taste, style, and budget – Mr Purdon and his staff have the training, experience, and willingness to accommodate any changes in design. Have a specific plan in mind? The company will see it through to completion. Have an idea but no formal design? Brolga Developments & Construction’s will create your vision from scratch, and can make suggestions for your dream to become a reality.

“More often than not, clients come to us with an open mind,” says Mr Purdon. “Sometime they have plans, but not necessarily from an architect. It could be from a designer they’ve spoken to, and they want to put it out to tender, but that’s not our main type of work – we normally work one-on-one with clients.”

Joint Venture with Craig Steere Architects

Often, customers come to Brolga Developments & Construction with a concept, but not an architect. A year ago, the builder entered a joint venture with award-winning firm, Craig Steere Architects. Established in 1994, the firm maintains its commitment to providing the finest architectural and interior design services encompassing a wide range of disciplines, from houses to multi-residential developments and much more. Over time, Mr Purdon spoke with others about how it would benefit the company to work with an architect, and the joint venture with Craig Steere Architects was created.

“We realised that it’d be nice to step up to that next level, and have some sort of an alliance with an architect who was more interested in focusing on bringing good architecture to a wider range of budgets,” says Mr Purdon. “We’re builders and designers, but not qualified architects, so it was a case of trying to bring good architecture back to the mainstream and make it available to a greater proportion of the public.” Since the area has a unique climate, the architectural firm also took to the challenge of designing homes in and around Broome.

The In-House Design and Drafting Advantage

With a lifelong background in carpentry, the company’s founder Dene Purdon realised there was room for more custom-built homes when he founded Brolga Developments & Construction in 2001. Targeting the market early on, Mr Purdon today has about 10 permanent staff with a solid, in-house Design and Drafting team consisting of Purdon, Russell Meads, and Ayesha Emanuel. The benefits for clients are many, and include a fully comprehensive in-house building and/or renovation service – including design and preparation of plans from a concept in the mind of a client or artist all the way through to professional architectural and engineered drawings – along with advice on structural and Shire requirements for the area. Clients as a result are more engaged in the creative process.

“This allows us to have a lot more input,” says Mr Purdon, “but the main thing is the speed with which we can produce plans for people, which can result in quicker decisions on moving forward with clients. If we’re outsourcing, it costs more, and we have less control over when it’s happening.”

Award-Winning Attention to Detail

Sometimes being a smaller-sized business has its advantages. At Brolga Developments & Construction, the company’s owners take a personalised, hands-on approach, and are involved with their clients at all times, keeping them advised of the process. This attention to the finest of details, and maintaining the highest standards of quality, has earned the company a number of awards over the years, going back to 2004. Since then, Brolga has been acknowledged for its fine work by the Master Builders Association over and over again. In 2005, the company won MBA Awards for Best Contract Home ($200,000-$250,000), Best Contract Home ($400,000-$500,000), the Excellence Award for “Most Innovative Use of Building Materials,” and another Excellence Award for “Best Design & Drafting.” In 2006, the firm won the MBA “Judges Choice Award” for “Most Innovative Builder,” and has won for “Employer/Trainer of the Year – Pilbara/Kimberley Region.” The success of Brolga extends beyond the company itself, with apprentices winning awards, along with tradesmen working for Brolga picking up awards for “Tradesman of the Year,” and established excellence in areas such as Metal Cladding, Concrete, Ceilings, and Paving.

Great companies tend to attract great people, and Brolga Developments & Construction is no exception. The company has a number of apprentices come to them through school-based programs, “and sometimes, they just come to us, and want to work for our company,” says Mr Purdon of the company, which is proud of its high levels of Indigenous employment. “We put a lot of effort into training, and we’ve had quite a bit of success with apprentices over the years – basically, we put a lot back into training young people, having Indigenous people, and we still try to maintain the highest level of quality in our work.”

Valued Relationships, Repeat Business

Designing and building a house from scratch is an involved process, and can take seven to ten months, depending on size. At Brolga Developments & Construction, the company is building more than a home – it is creating a foundation based on trust. For Mr Purdon and his staff, it is essential that the entire process – from initial sketch to move-in ready house – is pleasurable and memorable for all clients. The company has already had a number of repeat customers who keep coming back not only for the quality of the finished product, but the open and honest service they receive.

“Clients come to us for our reputation, and by word of mouth,” says Mr Purdon. “We’re fairly open about change to plans, and putting a lot of effort into the design stage. Not every builder does that for their own reasons, but we certainly love to let clients have a lot of input in the design stage so that we make sure that when we start building, they’re absolutely getting what they want.”

Another difference, says Mr Purdon, is that Brolga Developments & Construction is a custom home builder, not a project-type builder, as the homes it creates tend to be adapted to a specific lot. Mr Purdon estimates that 50 per cent of the company’s clients come with a lot, and then ask the firm’s opinion regarding design. This is essential to design and build homes for Kimberley’s warmer climate. Many properties accentuate Broome’s “easy style of living,” with an emphasis on spacious living and entertainment areas, and with unique design features such as recycled timber to create a distinctive and long-lasting impression.

Custom Built, Pre-Designed Homes, and Renovations

With dozens of successful projects to its credit, Brolga Developments & Construction specialises in custom home design and construction in Broome and the West Kimberley regions. For clients who don’t have a specific plan in mind, the company offers a range of Pre-Designed Homes to choose from that can be adapted to fit into your lifestyle. And for clients who feel like giving their home a facelift and bringing it up to modern-day standards, Mr Purdon and his staff provide design and construction advice to make any renovation work.

With offerings ranging from an in-house Design and Drafting Department that will oversee your project from artist’s impression to architecturally and engineered drawings, a comprehensive in-house building and/or renovation service, preparing plans, assistance with local structural and Shire requirements, and advice all the way from start to finish, it is no wonder so many clients choose Brolga Developments & Construction for their new home.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

March 29, 2020, 11:06 PM AEDT